LONDON Irish have made a staggering 10 high-profile signings as the club prepares to return to the Aviva Premiership next season.

Exiles bounced back to the top flight at the first time of asking by winning the Greene King IPA Championship.

And the Reading-based club have wasted little time in strengthening their squad with the capture of a host of new players.

The latest of the new recruits is Australian international back row Jake Schatz, 26, who has made the switch from Melbourne Rebels.

He joins Fijian international tighthead Manasa Saulo, 28, who arrives from Toulon and boasts 30 international caps.

Irish have also landed Samoan international lock Teofilo Paulo, 29, from Benetton Treviso, French Top 14 winger, Napolioni Nalaga, 31, from Lyon and 36-times capped Australian hooker Saia Fainga’a from the Brumbies.

Following them to Madejski Stadium are Italian international back Luke McLean, from Benetton Treviso, 35-year-old two-time European Cup winning tighthead, Petrus Du Plessis, from Saracens and 24-year-old Melbourne Rebels scrum-half Ben Meehan.

Completing the glut of new signings in the past week are 24-year-old Georgian international back row Lasha Lomidze plus Scotland international prop Gordon Reid, 30, from Glasgow Warriors.

And all this comes off the back of another huge boost for Irish after Director of Rugby, Nick Kennedy, defence coach, Declan Danaher, and skills coach, Paul Hodgson, all penned new long-term contracts with the club last week.

Reading Chronicle:

Director of rugby Nick Kennedy signed a contract extension recently.

Speaking about the most recent arrival of Schatz, Kennedy said: “Jake has played at the very highest level both domestically and internationally and he is a fantastic signing for us.

“He’s an abrasive ball carrier who is aggressive over the ruck and will add dynamism to the back row.”

Schatz, who can play flanker or No.8, added: “I’m really grateful to London Irish for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premiership, a competition that I have always wanted to test myself in.

“I’m really impressed with what the club is currently building with regards to the culture and ethos and where it wants to be long-term.”